Now is the Time for Supervisory Training

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As the COVID pandemic recedes, employers are now challenged to embrace new ways of working while remaining safe, healthy and productive, creating a whole workplace to engage employees and workers.  But as business slowly picks up, new hiring continues to lag.  Supervisors will need to get more with less for the foreseeable future, but many are ill equipped to handle hard employee issues.  

“Now is the time to get ahead of the curve” says John Sarno, president of the Employers Association of New Jersey “Supervisory training programs provide the ideal orientation for supervisors to help create a holistic workplace to engage employees and workers,” he says

Why supervisory training?

Fostering a supportive culture

During the pandemic employers struggled with numerous operational, financial, staffing, and other challenges related to the pandemic.  The most common practice employers reported using to retain employees was fostering a positive or supportive business culture. Practices that foster such a culture, like mentorship, professional development, job shadowing, and leadership development are essential.

Dealing with difficult change

In a dynamic, market driven economy supervisors must be agile, flexible and willing to change on a dime.  Not every business has remained intact.  Layoffs, reorganizations, working from home and other major disruptions are not uncommon.  

Leading from core values

While leadership is most often associated with people at the top of the organization, it can emerge at any level.  Indeed, during times of organizational stress or crisis, leadership at all levels is necessary.  The costs of ineffective leadership are also high. Supervisors that have integrity and other core values are more likely able to lead others.

Resolving conflicts

Employee conflicts are unavoidable, but they can often be prevented.  When they do occur, the risks associated with such conflicts can be greatly reduced if properly handled.  Indeed, effectively managing employee conflicts can save unnecessary financial and emotional costs.  In contrast, unaddressed or unresolved conflict can lead to bigger problems, such as harassment, violence or sabotage.

Complying with relevant laws

New Jersey’s Equal Pay law poses practical problems for employers and puts the onus squarely on the performance evaluation process. Decisions regarding job assignments or responsibilities are covered in some circumstances.  As a result, lawyers have raised the possibility that the “little things” in an employment relationship, such as poor performance appraisals, that used to be considered too minor, may be unlawful if they affect compensation.

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